What Is the Point of Dental Cleanings?

For some people, going to the dentist is not a fun trip. Fear and anxiety create an atmosphere that may keep people away from their appointments. If you are uncomfortable or anxious at the dentist’s office, you are not alone. According to the American Dental Hygienists Association, between 50% and 80% of adults have some level of dental anxiety. When you experience dental anxiety, you may be more likely to avoid your regular dental appointments. 

Many people only go to the dentist when they are in pain, especially if they have anxiety. Because dental cleanings are a routine procedure, patients don’t realize their importance. 

Closeup side view of older man getting a dental exam dental professional is using a scaler and mirror dental cleanings dentist in Palmdale California

Prevent Gum Disease

When you receive a dental cleaning, a dental hygienist will remove plaque from all surfaces of your teeth and soft tissues. Plaque is a type of harmful bacteria that clings to your teeth. If you don’t remove it properly, it can irritate and inflame your gums. This is the first stage of gum disease, which is an infection of the gums. Over time, gum disease can cause bad breath, missing teeth, and bone deterioration. 

However, a simple dental cleaning can help prevent gum disease. During your exam, your hygienist will floss your teeth using a special technique. Their method is more efficient than you can do at home. Therefore, your teeth will be cleaner and healthier. 

Minimize Tooth Decay

One of the major parts of a dental cleaning is the removal of plaque. To get rid of the plaque buildup, a dental hygienist will scrape your teeth using a scaler. This is a curved metal device that has a thin point. With this point, your hygienist can reach between your teeth and other hard-to-reach areas. When you brush your teeth, it is difficult to get the back of your teeth or between them. However, a dental cleaning can fully remove this harmful bacteria. 

Plaque reacts with sugar and leftover food particles to create acid. This acid will eat away at your enamel, creating small pits or cavities. Without treatment, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and missing teeth. Making your regular dental cleanings can help prevent tooth decay

Provide Preventative Dentistry

One of the services provided during a dental cleaning is an x-ray. X-rays allow your dental team to get a complete picture of your dental health. While your dentist and hygienist will thoroughly examine your mouth, an x-ray will show what their eyes cannot see. In addition, there are many dental issues that can develop beneath the surfaces of your teeth and tissues. This allows them to address problems before they cause too much damage. 

Brighter Smile

Getting regular dental cleanings can help brighten and whiten your smile. During your cleaning, your hygienist will use a high-powered brush to buff your teeth. This helps polish and shine your teeth. As a result, this brush will also help remove surface stains. You will notice a brighter smile after your dental cleanings.